Blogtacular Meets…Jessica Trent from The Cabinet Makers Love Tale

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Our series of Blogtacular interviews continues with Jessica Trent, blogger behind the gorgeous The Cabinet Maker’s Love Tale
1.    Tell us a bit about yourself and your blog:
I’m Jess, and my husband, Ross, a {hugely talented} cabinet maker. Often people are a bit confused by ‘cabinet making’ so it always helps when I show pictures of all the amazing furniture he designs/makes/installs, both in our home and the many beautiful homes of his clients. With my background is in visual merchandising, I have an eye for styling and design, so we’re often found collaborating on home projects, in fact its been a busy decade, renovating 4 homes together & there’s been quite a mix: a new build, a grade 2* listed, a country cottage, and our current 1920’s end terrace, all unhappy houses turned into comfortable happy homes.
Our blog is a way to showcase Ross furniture designs and capture the creative spaces we create.
While a lot of what Ross creates professionally, for clients, is hugely aspirational, we wanted to ensure that the blog focussed on our, much more modest home, to connect with others, very much inclusively of budget and ability.
So I guess overall, our blog is a personal space in which to tell our story, our Love Tale and to really discover how furniture, and the things we choose to live with, make a house into a home.
2.    What started you on your blogging journey? 
I tentatively began blogging last Autumn, not knowing if I would have the commitment & dedication, time or ability to actually do it. As hoped, it’s been such fun & something I wish I had begun much sooner!
We built Ross’ {now very dated} business website in 2010, but in the last year we’ve been sharing photos on social media, of our own home & furniture {built by Ross} and the reaction has been incredible. Sharing images from our own home gives people the chance to see his talent in a much more creative and personal way.
We have been wanting to expand our online presence & build a new website where we could promote both Ross’ cabinet making business, and also share the knowledge, lessons learnt from our renovating adventures, so a blog seemed the natural progression.
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3.    Talk us through how you chose your blog name? Has it always been the same?
I’m a little whimsical and hugely romantic, but I wanted the title to have a sense of purpose. Love Tale came to us last summer, as we’ve always felt we have a ‘story’ to tell. Hopefully the slight pun reference to ‘dovetail’ joints, reflects the nature of our business as well.  The Cabinet Making business is the reason for the blog, but our journey, our creative stories in the home and the wish to inspire others is firmly rooted in our Love Tale.
4.    What has been your biggest blogging challenge?
My biggest blogging challenge is the tech-side. Creatively I’m inspired everyday, and both writing and photography come naturally to me. But the back-end, behind the scenes stuff, to really help push yourself out there, is a challenge. I’m really keen to make the blog as user-focussed/friendly as possible, so the more back-end tech knowledge I can gain, the better.
It’s a steep learning curve. I’m a full-time mummy, so time is precious. But having spent a year of using time-challenges as an excuse not to blog, I now realise the benefit of jumping in & getting on with it. Cracking challenges head-on is liberating.
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5.    Over your time blogging, what has been your biggest blogging success? It could be an award, a post that you think really struck a chord or just a “YES!” moment from your blogging experience?
My biggest blogging success has been the gift of self confidence.  The Cabinet Maker’s Love Tale, even in its title, was a way for me to take the focus of myself. I’ve always found it easy to promote Ross’ talents, so by focusing on him in the title, it was a little easier for me to hide behind.
There is a huge feeling of vulnerability when you share personal creativity, and my first few blog posts were some of the scariest pieces I’ve ever written. I used to feel the same about posting my pictures to instagram, feeling so worried about the scrutiny.  {perhaps an overhang from working alongside scary high-level critics in my previous creative career}. By taking the attention off yourself and to be able to realise the gift you are sharing, has been so creatively free-ing. I’m certainly learning to loosen up a bit, and have fun!
6.    Tell us about your blogging routine. Do you us an editorial calendar? Do you plan in advance or blog it as it happens?
No, I have no set routine as such. This is where I realise I need a game-plan. I wrote my New Year’s Eve post, describing last year as my ‘best yet’…about how I’d stopped planning so much and focussed more on doing. I am now realising  that to grow the blog strategically, there will be an element of careful planning required.
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7.    We’d love to see and hear about where you blog. 
Where I blog depends on where I am?! I love the freedom of my laptop and with WordPress  {my current host} being so mobile friendly, I can often create entire posts from my iphone. I always thought I would require a dedicated work space, but like so many bloggers, I’m more often found at the dining table or on the sofa, tap tap tapping away!  {we do, however, have plans to build another garden room this summer, which will become our office & studio, exciting!}
8.    What are your blogging goals for 2015?
My blogging goals…to write more of the personal content I began to share last year. I enjoy the connection you get with people by reading more personal posts, and after all…our blog is our ‘love tale’ I received such lovely comments about other’s being inspired by them, so it will be wonderful to include more. A bit like our home, I’m dedicated to creating a beautiful, warm & welcoming blog-space: somewhere others can pop along for inspiration and encouragement. I hope that by following our blog and our story, they can crack open their creative potential too!
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9.    If you could give new bloggers one top tip, what would it be? 
Do. Stop over-thinking, and do. If you are yet to actually start a blog, then perhaps start micro-blogging on social media, it was hugely helpful for me. I began by posting a picture a day to instagram & it really helped me find my style & my voice. I now post 2/3 times a day, and co-host a weekly photo challenge on instagram called My Monday Mood Board …its a way to inspire, create & encourage your start to the week, and has created an incredible community in its first couple of months!
10.    What made you push the “Buy Now” button on your ticket for Blogtacular 2015?
The photos and online videos from last years event were incredible, so I really couldn’t resist the chance to come! However I missed the ‘early bird’ tickets {which was so silly} as it wasn’t until I’d published 3 months worth of blogs, that I felt I could justify coming. I now realise I could have committed without that ‘excuse’!
11.    How has blogging changed your life?
Blogging has given me a huge sense of independence, courage & self belief. I was recently offered the chance to collaborate with Laura Ashley, via a monthly styling challenge, led by Katy at Apartment Apothecary and Charlotte at Lotts and Lots. It was such a treat to be invited by 2 blogs that I’ve followed for so long. Then having Laura Ashley ask me to do a follow up post, just on my own, was incredibly affirming.  You can be offered branches of opportunity with so many things, but then its up to you to take courage and swing forwards. That’s something I can now see in myself, it’s really been such a gift.
Blogging is really such a wonderful way of connecting with others, while teaching us to be independently dedicated and go-getting.
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12. Blogs I read weekly:
Apartment Apothecary. A Quiet Style. Makelight. I also love to follow a few international blogs, but these British ladies are a huge inspiration to me!
Thanks so much, Jessica for popping by. You can find Jessica:
Blog link: thecabinetmakerslovetale.wordpress.com   {soon to be just .com}
Twitter: jessicatrent
Pinterest: jesstrent